Ideas for packing your hospital bag

Are you super organised and have packed and rechecked your hospital bag at 30 weeks? Or have you reached 36 weeks with no clue what to pack? Whatever stage you’re at have a look at our list of items to be included to ensure you’re not missing that one thing you wished you’d had.

Firstly the bag. Don’t have anything that’s too big as you don’t want to leave your poor birthing partner lugging a huge suitcase or 4 bags around the delivery suit corridors. So unless you know you’re in for a lengthy stay keep your luggage to a minimum. Some women opt for 2 bags, one for herself and one for the baby which can help to keep you organised, save rooting through night dresses and maternity pads to find more nappies at 2am. But if decide to have one bag think carefully about the layout. Choose a holdall that’s big enough to put your items on one side and the babies on the other making life a little easier.


Items to include for yourself:

Birth plan and hospital notes

Something to wear during labour – although the hospital will provide a gown, which you will have to change in to if you have an epidural or a cesarean section, you may feel more comfortable in your own clothes during labour. Choose an old nightie or a baggy T-shirt that you don’t mind getting dirty. If you are having a water birth then a bikini top works well.

Snacks – You may be in labour for a good few hours and may need a boost to help you though. Pack things like flapjacks, multigrain bars, bananas to keep you going. You may want to pack bottles of drink and snacks for your partner.

Tenns machine if you wish to use one during labour

CD of calming music, magazine or a book to help pass the time if labour is slow


Toiletries: Flannel, toothbrush and toothpaste, shower gel, deodorant. You may wish to include shampoo but many women may be too sore and prefer to wait until they are home to wash their hair

Pyjamas, dressing gown and slippers for after giving birth

Nursing bras and pads – Pack at least 2, good fitting nursing bras. If you don’t intend on breastfeeding then you will still need the breast pads.

Maternity pads – For after the birth, although thick, night time sanitary towels will work just as well.

Clean clothes to go home in

Extras you may wish to include: Mobile phone and charger, fluffy socks, lip balm, hair tie and hair brush, make up, disposable knickers, lanolin cream, a pillow, a blanket, a list of family and friends to call when baby makes an appearance, empty carrier bags to take home dirty clothes, massage oil, birthing ball.

For baby

At least 2 outfits for the baby: Although you may wish to dress your baby up in gorgeous outfits, it’s often best to choose vests and sleepsuits for the first few days. Scratch mittens are also very useful as babies nails are often very long after birth and they have a tendency of scratching their face.

Nappies and cotton wool: It is often recommend to use cotton wool and water instead of baby wipes as a newborns skin is very sensitive. Aim for changing your baby about every 2-4hrs so ensure you have enough nappies, although the hospital will have extra if necessary.

Bottles and formula: if you plan to bottle feed your baby your hospital may request you bring your own bottles and formula. It can be easier to buy the readymade cartons of formula for your stay in hospital so you do not have to worry about boiling water and mixing the powder.

A blanket or shawl and a cardigan or coat for bringing the baby home in, depending on the weather.

Extras: Going home outfit, nappy cream, nappy bags, baby hat, nail file, dummies, different age clothing (some babies will need newborn size but others can go straight into 0-3 months so if you think your baby might be big it’s worth taking both sizes)


It may seem like so much to pack but remember, you’ll be bring a whole extra person home with you (or maybe more!)

If there is anything else you think you might need then don’t be afraid to pack it. It’s better than sitting in the hospital wishing you had it, or sending your partner on a midnight dash home to fetch it!